News Briefs

Jan. 15, 2010
Spectral environmental solutions: BaySpec's (Fremont, CA) Nunavut 1064 nm system, which minimizes fluorescence issues, is allowing researchers to develop real-time, in vivo Raman spectroscopic assays that work at single-cell levels to significantly increase the possibilities of researching and engineering the best conditions and novel strains for algal growth and oil production.

Spectral environmental solutions: BaySpec's (Fremont, CA) Nunavut 1064 nm system, which minimizes fluorescence issues, is allowing researchers to develop real-time, in vivo Raman spectroscopic assays that work at single-cell levels to significantly increase the possibilities of researching and engineering the best conditions and novel strains for algal growth and oil production. BaySpec is also partnering with other manufacturers on a cost-effective solution based on its transmission VPG grating near-IR spectrometer in combination with deep-cooled InGaAs detectors applying luminescence spectroscopy to standard industrial multicrystalline p-type silicon for solar cells. These NIR spectral systems are also being use for in-line plastics sorting in recycling plants.

100G interoperability: EXFO Electro-Optical Engineering (Quebec City, QC, Canada) and Opnext (Fremont, CA) have successfully completed their joint interoperability trials for testing IEEE-compliant 100 gigabit (100G) Ethernet optics. Using the EXFO FTB-85100G Packet Blazer (40G/100G) and the Opnext 100GBASE-LR4 CFP Multi-Source Agreement (MSA)-compliant optical module, the trials included generating 100G Ethernet IP traffic at 100% wire speed with pseudo-random bit sequence (PRBS) patterns as well as monitoring error-free transmission with full Ethernet statistic. This successful result brings together two different technological innovations that are key in enabling the rapid development and deployment of next-generation carrier and data-center 100G networks.

Lasers test body armor: The National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academies established a study committee to assess the methodologies used by the U.S. Army for the testing of body armor. In Phase I, the committee will comment on the validity of using laser profilometry/laser interferometry techniques to determine the contours of an indent made by a ballistic test in a non-transparent clay material at the level of precision established in the Army's procedures for testing personal body armor. If laser profilometry/laser interferometry is not a valid method, the committee will consider whether a digital caliper can be used instead.

OCT market grows in 2009: Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is continuing its rapid expansion as a fast, high-resolution imaging tool for clinical diagnostics. Systems sales grew in 2009 to $315 million, despite the economic crisis, with compound annual growth rate of 20% expected through 2014. These are among the findings in a new report, OCT 2010: Technology, Applications, and Markets, from market research firm Strategies Unlimited (Mountain View, CA), the research unit for PennWell (Tulsa, OK). "Ophthalmology will remain the dominant OCT application for many years," said Gregory Smolka, author of the report, "but several other applications are on the verge of expanding the market, each with potential markets equal to or larger than that of ophthalmology."

3D display market: In its 3D Display Technology and Market Forecast Report, DisplaySearch (Austin, TX) forecasts that the total stereoscopic 3D display market will grow from 0.7 million units and $902 million in revenues in 2008 to 196 million units and $22 billion in revenues in 2018, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 38% for revenues and 75% for units. The market for 3D displays--which is encouraged by the recent success of 3D cinema--is forecast to take off in 2010, providing a welcome boost to the electronics industry. "3D displays are taking off with consumers due to increasing availability of 3D content. In addition, 3D standardization has also been addressed or is being evaluated in several 3D organizations," said Jennifer Colegrove, director of Display Technologies at DisplaySearch.

U.S. optics subsidiary: Präzisionsoptik Gera GmbH (POG; Gera, Germany), has formed a U.S. subsidiary Precision Optics Gera Corp. (with sales offices in Florida and Colorado), effective January 1, 2010, with a highly trained staff of 100. POG is a manufacturer of custom and standard microstructures on glass and ceramics--reticules, scales, calibration targets, and test patterns with complete in-house processing including design, photolithography, coating, and assembly. POG also produces custom optical systems and components from the UV through IR. POG will exhibit at upcoming SPIE conferences Photonics West and Defense, Security & Sensing.

Doublet assembly technical papers: Optimax (Ontario, NY) provides rapid prototyping of precision optical components up to 300 mm in diameter, specializing in asphere, cylinder, sphere, and prism parts manufactured to customer-supplied specifications. Optimax also specializes in glass-to-glass bonding of precision optical components. Because doublet making is often misunderstood, Optimax completed two technical papers on doublet assemblies and has posted them to their website at These papers, "Considerations in Manufacturing Cemented Assemblies" and "Assembly Method Considerations for Cemented Assemblies" talk about options in constructing a doublet lens assembly and techniques in communicating significant items.

Laser diagnostics marketing agreement: Spectrum Detector (Lake Oswego, CA), manufacturer of standard and custom detectors and instruments for optical power and energy measurement, has announced an agreement with Laserpoint SRL, a manufacturer of laser diagnostic sensors and instruments, to become their exclusive marketing, sales and distribution agent in the USA and Canada effective January 1, 2009. "Laserpoint, SRL was established in 1989 and has developed the some of the world's highest damage threshold Laser Power probes and many innovative laser diagnostic products over the years. Our Senior Staff will be able to provide expert technical and applications support for these products ..." says Dooley.

CPV dealer agreement: OPEL Solar (Shelton, CT), a developer and supplier of high concentration photovoltaic (HCPV) and other solar products including ground-based and rooftop tracker systems, entered into an International Dealer Agreement with SOLYPAC Technology (Seoul, South Korea). The Agreement makes available to SOLYPAC the complete OPEL Solar product line to supply utility scale projects. Especially important to this Agreement are the Mk-I HCPV panel and the array of single and dual axis trackers that, when used with the HCPV panels, can increase PV yields of solar farms by up to 40%.

Broadband stimulus: U.S. Vice President Joe Biden kicked off $7.2 billion in Recovery Act broadband grant and loan programs in December 2009, of which $2 billion will be made available on a rolling basis over the next 75 days to bring high-speed Internet to communities that currently have little or no access to the technology. An initial $183 million investment in eighteen broadband projects benefiting seventeen states has already been matched by over $46 million in public and private sector capital. The awards are not only expected to provide initial job opportunities in infrastructure and manufacturing, but help bridge the digital divide and boost economic development for communities held back by limited or no access to the technology.

Fiber laser for STED microscopy: Mobius Photonics (Mountain View, CA), provider of short-pulsed fiber laser sources (IR, green, and UV laser), delivered an upgraded fiber laser that produces visible light with 20 MHz pulse repetition rate to a leading European research institute. Tailored for stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy experiments, the laser has been designed to improve imaging speed over prior STED set ups that used 1 MHz Mobius lasers. Manuel Leonardo, co-founder and VP of Mobius Photonics said, "This new system has been designed to produce images many times faster than previous set-ups, putting us in a more competitive position with today's commercial STED systems."

JWST mirror segments shipped: Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. shipped five James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) beryllium primary mirror segments as well as the engineering development unit (EDU) to Marshall Space Flight Center (Huntsville, AL) for cryogenic temperature testing. Ball Aerospace is the principal optical subcontractor for the JWST program, led by prime contractor Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, under contract to NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Ball is responsible for developing the telescope optics, including the 18 mirror beryllium segment assemblies that comprise the primary mirror.

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